Accuracy and generalization capability of an automatic method for the detection of typical brain hypometabolism in prodromal Alzheimer disease

for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to verify the reliability and generalizability of an automatic tool for the detection of Alzheimer-related hypometabolic pattern based on a Support-Vector-Machine (SVM) model analyzing 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET data. Methods: The SVM model processed metabolic data from anatomical volumes of interest also considering interhemispheric asymmetries. It was trained on a homogeneous dataset from a memory clinic center and tested on an independent multicentric dataset drawn from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Subjects were included in the study and classified based on a diagnosis confirmed after an adequate follow-up time. Results: The accuracy of the discrimination between patients with Alzheimer Disease (AD), in either prodromal or dementia stage, and normal aging subjects was 95.8%, after cross-validation, in the training set. The accuracy of the same model in the testing set was 86.5%. The role of the two datasets was then reversed, and the accuracy was 89.8% in the multicentric training set and 88.0% in the monocentric testing set. The classification rate was also evaluated in different subgroups, including non-converter mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, subjects with MCI reverted to normal conditions and subjects with non-confirmed memory concern. The percent of pattern detections increased from 77% in early prodromal AD to 91% in AD dementia, while it was about 10% for healthy controls and non-AD patients. Conclusions: The present findings show a good level of reproducibility and generalizability of a model for detecting the hypometabolic pattern in AD and confirm the accuracy of FDG-PET in Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Classification and prediction
  • Discriminant analysis
  • MCI due to AD
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Neuroimage classification
  • Support vector machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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